At my office, there is a huge interest in healthy, balanced eating (which, obviously, singles me out as one of those who has a rather unhealthy eating habit). Many colleagues have been to Freshii on West Cordova and raved about it, so I was intrigued and invited my friend CC to join me for lunch there.
Being there the first time, the menu seemed a bit daunting because there are so many options. You could order something off the menu, or build your own meal. Overwhelmed, I decided to take the safer route and order something off the menu. Spicy Lemongrass sounded pretty good to me. I was picturing something similar to pho, a nice bowl of noodle soup with a bit of heat that warms you right up on a winter day.
Before I took my first bite, I took a sip of the broth. My heart sank. It didn’t have the heat that I was looking for, nor did it have much flavour. I had a feeling it was going to be a disappointing lunch.
And it was. The broth was bland; I couldn’t taste the lemongrass or any heat that a “spicy lemongrass broth” may suggest. Could be that I have a high tolerance for spicy food? Perhaps, but I would think I can still taste some spices or some kind of flavour in the broth. It tasted like a water-down version of a very, very light chicken broth.
The noodles were nothing like pho noodles. These were hard and chewy (think al dente but it shouldn’t exist in rice noodles), and because the broth had no flavour, the noodles sadly didn’t have any flavours either. It had a few pieces of chick breast and some tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms and bean sprouts. All these ingredients require a flavourful broth or sauce to make them taste good; unfortunately the lack of seasoning in the broth just made the whole thing flop.
By the way, the noodle soup came with a thin slice of pita bread, which puzzled me as I don’t see a connection there. I didn’t know what to do with it, so I tried dipping it in the soup and eating it alone. Neither option made sense to me.
Ironically, my friend CC ordered the Spicy Noodle, which I see it as the stir-fry version of mine, and she said it had a nice kick to it. Regrettably I didn’t try it so I can’t verify that comment. It would’ve helped solve the mystery of the lack of heat in my broth, but I guess I will never find out.
I understand that Freshii is about providing healthy, balanced eating options that give people the energy they need everyday. That being said, I also believe that healthy food can taste good too. I’m afraid this isn’t the case. I don’t think I saw what my colleagues see in this place.
870 West Cordova Street, Vancouver